month we discussed: Wrongful Dismissal.
This month we will discuss Roberta Cava’s information about: Applying for a job based on her book What am I going to do with the rest of my life.
APPLYING FOR A JOB
During this COVID-19 pandemic there are a
large portion of populations unemployed and many in Australia are registered
for JobKeeper and JobSeeker. However, they are still unemployed and are
probably anxious to get back to work. For decades I was a career counsellor but
can’t offer that kind of service now. But what I can do is give you some
valuable information on what employers are really looking for. Here are some of
the steps I suggest you take so you are ahead of your competition.
– Write down your transferrable skills. Transferrable skills are those
skills you can take from one occupational field into another. For example:
supervisory skills, interpersonal skills, accounting knowledge, aptitude with
figures and scheduling skills are all transferrable skills. This will allow new
horizons to open for you.
a good idea to ask your close friends and relatives to help you with this set
of questions. They may see qualities in you – that you’ve overlooked.
of my clients (who was presently working as a nursing supervisor) decided that
she didn’t want to work shift work any longer because she had a young family.
She felt she couldn’t find work in any other occupation, so did not seek career
counselling until her family situation became intolerable. We were able to
identify her transferrable skills as follows. She:
Knew how to supervise others (junior nursing staff).
How to schedule (complete activities within a set
time-frame – arranging for patients to have medication – get to X-ray or Cat
Had highly honed interpersonal skills (could deal with
all kinds of people, from callous doctors, impatient technicians, to unhappy
patients and their family members).
Could keep meticulously detailed reports (of
medication, patient’s condition – general condition).
Remained calm in an emergency (there are always crisis
in a hospital).
Was physically fit (had to be on her feet most of the
day and manipulate heavy patients) and
Was a quick
decision-maker (how to handle unexpected or critical situations).
were talents that could be useful in many occupations. She just had to find
which one she wanted to work in. She admitted that one of her passions was
ladies’ fashion. After examining her transferrable skills, I advised her that
if she got the necessary retail training, she’d likely have little trouble
obtaining a position in a retail woman’s shop. She admitted that she’d never
thought of that as an alternative, because it wouldn’t pay her enough.
I reminded her of her
ability to supervise others (retail staff).
of scheduling (ordering stock).
honed interpersonal skills in dealing with all kinds of people (snarly clients
ability to keep meticulously detailed reports (inventory and sales
ability to remain calm in an emergency (with both clients and staff).
fitness (stock-room gymnastics to reach and wrestle with stock).
ability to decide quickly (special prices for stock items).
of these made her a good candidate for a management position in the retail
Step 2 – Apply for the job: Many people don’t
feel the need to use a resume. They fill in an application form and hope it
will represent them well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Usually, the only thing
representing you prior to an interview is your resume (or at worst, a company
application form). If your resume isn’t ‘up to par’ you likely won’t be asked
to come for an interview. Use a resume ‑ a good one that ‘sells’ your unique
talents and abilities. This applies to blue- and pink-collar workers as well as
white-collar ones! Watch for words in their recruitment information – and be
sure to let them know why you think you would fit the position. This is why
each resume should identify the qualities the company are looking for (don’t
Step 3 – Attend an interview: If you’re called
in for an interview, remember that you’re there to sell yourself. Don’t let
shyness keep you from ‘tooting your own horn.’ Know your strengths and
weaknesses and be ready to discuss them with the interviewer. Have facts clear
in your mind, anticipate the interviewers’ questions and have information handy
that they might need (such as a list of references). If you’re overly nervous,
have a friend rehearse with you doing a mock-up interview where you practice
answering interview questions.
sure your physical appearance is neat and clean and that your apparel suits the
position you’re applying for (even labouring or blue-collar positions). Never,
under any circumstances, wear jeans or corduroys to an interview for an office
position. No runners or trainers. Successful women do not wear cardigans – they
wear jackets to match their outfits. They use suitable makeup and both men and
women have a good haircut. Men wear matching outfits – shirts, slacks, socks,
shoes and jacket if applicable. Wear apparel that is one step up from the
level of position you’re applying for.
things that employers may feel do not make you a good candidate (whether
warranted or not) can be:
piercing (except 2 ear rings). No eyebrow, nose, tongue, or lip rings.
Can’t express yourself well (take
Toastmaster or speech classes so you can say what you want to say when you want
to say it). Make a plan before attending the interview. Watch for repetitive
words or phrases such as: saying, uhm before you answer their questions.
Saying, ‘You know’ repeatedly etc.
topics covered in my book What am I going to do
with the rest of my life. are:
Entrepreneurship (could you start your own
Overcoming negative experiences
Overcoming your fears
How to change your approach to life.
Roberta Cava has over three decades of
Human Resources experience and has been Head of Human Resources for firms in
Canada and Australia. She is a best-selling author of non-fiction books. In
total she has written 50 books; seven of them fiction
and 43 non-fiction. Roberta lives on the Gold Coast of
Queensland in Australia.
To order her books:
to amazon.com then click ‘Books’ and under ‘search’ put Roberta Cava (which will bring up all
of her books).
Roberta or Cava Consulting, please send an e-mail to: